Saturday, November 30, 2013

Gobble Gobble til' Ya Wobble Wobble

This year was our year to have Thanksgiving with Dave's family.  His sister Karen hosted it at her house in Kaysville in her new home.  She just moved back here with her family from Arizona and they haven't been part of our Thanksgiving since leaving Utah about 20 years ago.  They did come back eight years ago, the year Tyson passed away, but that was the last time we were together with them on this holiday.  We were all so excited to finally have them back here.  It was a lot of fun.  No matter what we are doing, I always have fun with Karen.

This year I was assigned to make the traditional green bean casserole, baked beans, a lemon pie, and a veggie tray.  The only thing of the four that was photo worthy was the veggie tray.  I saw a photo of this (no, not on Pinterest- shocking I know!) from a friend and I fell in love with it.  I was excited to make it.  I think it turned out pretty fun!
 
It's larger than it appears in the previous photo.

The fun and games started way before we sat down to eat.  They are playing HedBanz.

Some of the cousins. 
We were missing Skyler (working in Hawaii and by working, I mean on Thanksgiving Day too - he had an eel he caught for his feast),Taylor (serving a mission in Brazil), Weston (serving a mission in Reno), Rachel (serving a mission in Albania), all of Brian's kids (they were at their mom's house), Kimber, Jason, and Kylah (living in Oregon), and Julie's family who lives in Las Vegas.  But, we still had three full tables! 

Click to enlarge


I loved watching Bryce hold his newest cousin Alexandra.  He has always loved babies and they always love him.

 The adults.  Just missing Dave's sister Julie and her family.


Isaac's after dinner creation!

Having some fun!

Have I mentioned how much I love this kid!  He LOVES teasing me and I love teasing him back. He calls me Aunt Joey and I call him Newt - short for Sir Isaac Newton.  We have lots of fun!  He reminds me so much of Skyler when he was that age.

And...have I mentioned I have THEE cutest nieces and nephews on the planet?!  I seriously do!  Look at this doll!  Alexandra Rose.  Isn't she just a beauty?
 

A couple more of Bryce and Alexandra.  She is just soooooo stinkin' cute!

I can definitely say I gobbled until I wobbled!  And then some.....
There is just nothing like getting together with family to celebrate holidays.  I have been so blessed with a such a great family!  Dave's, my own, and my immediate family.  I LOVE Thanksgiving and I think the practice of gratitude is such an important principle to instill in our children.  I honestly believe gratitude is the secret to happiness.  When we are grateful we are happy.  When we focus on what we have, we can't focus on what we don't.  And I for one, have SO much to be grateful for!


However, I feel like this holiday, is being totally kicked aside and trampled on.  I am not happy that the stores have now started to open right ON Thanksgiving Day!  Thanksgiving is a family day, not a day to shop!  I understand it is against the law to do that in some states and I am tempted to move to one of those.  I think it is just SO wrong to take a holiday that is supposed to focus on being grateful and force Black Friday upon us- the one day when people show their greed more than any other day of the year.  It is almost an oxymoron.  

It really saddens me.  So much so, that I refused to go shopping on Thanksgiving Day.  I think those employees should be home enjoying the holiday with their families instead of having to work!  It's just wrong in so many ways!  But that's just me.  I know a lot of families do it together and so they are at least together.  But, no one will ever convince me it is right. 

I have always been a big Black Friday shopper but I used to enjoy it more when the sales began at 6 a.m.!  Then they just kept getting earlier and earlier, with each store trying to get you into their store first.  Now, I just enjoy sleeping in and I eventually hit the stores on Friday, but not until about 7 a.m. and amazingly, I have always found what I needed without having to get up at 3 a.m. and stand in a freezing cold line for hours.  So maybe I should be grateful the stores have moved it away from the early Friday morning and now start either on Thursday or at midnight on Friday.  I'm perfectly happy sleeping through all the craziness!


This year, I did end up standing in a freezing cold line for an hour or so though.  Honeyville Farms had their Bosch Mixers on sale and only had eight at the price advertised.  Mine is 31 years old and is on it's last leg.  It sounds like it is going to explode when I turn it on now.  It's definitely time for a new one, but I have avoided it because they aren't cheap.  So Dave and I headed to get in line a little before 7 a.m. and his sister Linda was already in line and informed us that we were probably number nine.  That meant no Bosch on the ad price.  But even before Dave knew that, he was ready to head back home.  He kept telling me how it wasn't worth it to stand there and freeze to save a few bucks.  I informed him it was worth it to stand there and save over a hundred bucks though.  He still wasn't convinced because he knew the odds of us even getting one were slim.  He was right.  But then we talked to a lady who had some coupons for one item at 25% off.  If we used that, then even if we weren't one of the first eight we could still get one and it would only be $20 more.

This isn't mine, but what mine looks like
The new Bosch
  So I ran home while he stood in line and printed off some coupons.  I saw a worker go in and asked him if they had plenty in stock so it would be worth my time to wait in line or if they only had the eight.  He told me they had plenty and that I could use the coupon on one.  Yippee!  Suddenly it was all worth standing there freezing to death.  Some guy had been there since 3 a.m.!  Now, even I wouldn't do that just to save a hundred bucks!  I DO have my limits!  ;)

Long story short, (yeah right like it even has a chance to be short after all I wrote above!) we got inside and after the eight were gone, they only had about two left in stock. They were gone when I got to them and was certain we missed out.  So much for they had plenty in stock!  Then I saw Dave come around the corner carrying one.  Yea!  I was so excited I almost knocked it out of his hands!  I love going home on Black Friday happy and not disappointed.  Dave headed off to work and I headed off to Shopko and Walmart.  Then I was DONE with my Black Friday.  I used to shop all day. It's just not worth it to me anymore and besides, I have Cyber Monday to look forward to!  I prefer shopping online to fighting the crowds any day!  And you don't even have to find a parking place or stand outside freezing in a long line. So I came home and cleaned my garage and my pantry.  That felt just as good as saving a lot of money.  Well...almost.

Meeting A New Face

Tyson's friend Sam has been so sweet to stay in touch with us over the years.  I love it when she drops in for an unexpected visit.  I was really happy with the one I got his week, because I got to meet her new baby Deklynn.  What a cutie.  She is two months old and still only weighs less than 8 lbs! 
There is just nothing like a new face straight from heaven to make you feel closer to those that are already there.  I couldn't help but wonder if Tyson had her in training before she came.  I know he has had his hand in a few of his cousin's training because I can see so much of him in them at times. haha


Sam is holding Maxx Tyson.  They named him after Tyson.  He is the cutest kid. He has the cutest face and we didn't even get a good photo of him.


Then the most touching thing happened while Sam and I were visiting.  Maxx walked over to Tyson's picture and picked it up and gave it a kiss.  It was the craziest thing!  We both couldn't believe it.  It was as if he remembered him from before he came down here.  It really was crazy!  Of course, we didn't have the camera ready when he did it and so we tried to re-enact it for the above photo!  haha  
That was a pretty special visit!



Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Turkey Trot's Trotted Its Last Trot

This year's Turkey Trot had some pretty FOWL weather! 
In fact, when I woke up and saw what was happening with the wind, I almost bagged it.  There isn't much weather that can keep me from going out and running, but I hate icy wind like no other!  I had missed a few runs this week because of it.  It was upwards in some parts of the state at 80 mph!  Here in town on race day, some of the gusts had to be at least 60 mph.  Luckily, it wasn't a steady wind that wouldn't stop, and it did give us a break for a minute or two, but then it was back to just whirling around in no specific direction.  The temps were in the 30's and so that really wasn't an issue until you figure in the real temp with the wind chill.  Brrr............ 
I knew in the end I would end up going because that is just how we runners are.  C R A Z Y!  When I pulled in the parking lot to register there weren't that many cars yet and I thought to myself, "Wow, I really must be crazy and everyone else was just smart enough to stay home!"  But then my next thought was, "Less trotters just gives me a better chance at winning a turkey!"  That was short lived however as the runners kept coming and coming.  They would register and then hurry and run to their car to stay warm and get out of the wind until starting time.  It just confirmed to me once again that runners really are crazy.  However, I prefer to think of it as we are HARDCORE instead of crazy.  It takes some courage to get outside in those conditions and race. 
With my running pal Marci before.  She is total HARDCORE!
What really got me there was the fact that I had already told my friend Marci that I was going to race.  The race only costs $7 to register (unheard of!) and so even if I didn't win a turkey, it was a pretty reasonable fee to get me out and run.  Whatever it takes!
The wind let up just a bit before we started but as we got going it picked right back up.  I was hoping for a tail wind on the uphill, but that didn't last long.  The worst part was the head wind on the uphill!  NOT FUN!  But, I felt good during the run which surprised me because my previous run that week I felt like I was running through molasses.
This was at the half way mark at mile 2.  The Turkey Trot is a 4 mile race that loops around twice.  It has never been a favorite course of mine, in fact I may or may not have said that I hate the course.  But for some reason I keep showing up year after year.  It must be for the turkey, because it's not for the trotting! 
I was happy with how I did.  I didn't feel like I wanted to die this year on the uphill at mile three, which has been the case in a few previous years.  I finished strong even with a full force of wind blowing straight at me trying to slow me down.  I did almost get blown over a few times and more than once the wind's force pushed my leg that was air-born into my other one and I almost tripped myself.  That would have been one epic fall...or should I say fail.  I even thought I set a new PR, but I was short by about 40 seconds.  I finished it in 35:15. About an 8:40 pace. I think my PR was 34:30.  I am happy with that especially considering my runs the last couple of weeks.   
With Marci after.  She won Overall Woman!
Sadly to say, I did not win a turkey this year.  I did get a pumpkin pie for second place in my AD which always makes my son McKay happy, but I was pretty let down I didn't get first in my age division for the turkey.  A woman that I don't know, beat me by a minute.  But, I should have expected that because my entire week has been that way.  Nothing has gone right.  It's like a dark rain cloud has been floating above my head all week.  I am hoping today was the last of it and praying that those high winds blew it away!

On a good note...this is the first year we got t-shirts.  Not that I need another t-shirt, but they were cute nonetheless!  AND, I also found a penny!  Can't beat that!

 I felt really bad I didn't get a photo of Dave at the race because he was there to support me once again.  He always comes if he possibly can and is so good to take photos and do whatever I need him to do.  I always mean to get a photo of him. but sometimes just forget.  So I am adding this one of him that I took after.  He was supposed to go to a Pickleball Round Robin today, but of course that was cancelled due to the high winds.


Jeff Rawlins (race director) announced at this year's Trot that it may be the last.  It appears the city is coming down with some ordinance that means it may not be able to continue due some nit picky red tape.  I hope not, but it sounds like it.  That makes me very sad.  The Turkey Trot is the only 4 mile course I have ever raced.  It will be sad to no longer have this to look forward to after all the years I have ran it even though I hate the course.  I went back and looked through some photos and got back as far as 2008.  I think I ran it a couple of years before that as well, but couldn't find those photos.  =(  I won a first place turkey the past four years in a row and I feel bad I didn't end with one this year especially if it is the last year.  Dang lady in purple that beat me!  Had I known you were in my age division, I WOULD have caught you - wind or not!  haha  Not fair that you had a mask on your face so I couldn't tell how old you were!  lol  I am just kidding.... well mostly.  hehe  I am pretty competitive!  

TURKEY TROT
through the years

2008 was the year that Julie's foot started to bleed through her new running shoes.  We never figured out why. But it was pretty exciting!  haha I got 2nd place and a pumpkin pie. McKay was thrilled because he LOVES pumpkin pie!


 2009 Jen and Heather brought some of their kids this year to run the Kids 2 mile race.  I was so happy I won a first place turkey!  McKay was disappointed!  He wanted another pumpkin pie!  =)

 2010 was one of my funnest years because Jen, Heather and I went to 7-11 and got hot chocolate before the race.  It was cold and rainy that year.  I was so happy to win a turkey that year thanks to Jen and Heather.  This was the year I felt like I was having a heart attack around mile 3.  I started to really slow down.  When they got up to me and saw I was having a hard time they ran with me even though they could have gone ahead.  If they had not stayed with me, I probably would have stopped and walked for a bit.  Thanks to them I ended up beating a lady in my age division right at the last 100 yards or so.  She was not happy when I was awarded the turkey!  We had kept passing each other back and forth the entire race.  It was neck and neck.  Gizzard and gizzard.  Giblet and giblet the whole way.  And I only beat her by a hair feather.
   
2011 was the cold and snowy year. You just never know what kind of weather you are going to get in November in Utah. It was also the first year that they changed the course.  The start and end is different, but it is still a 2 mile loop twice.  The ending makes a huge difference though. I happily got a first place turkey again.



Last year in 2012, it was a pretty mild day.  There was a huge turnout because of it.  I enjoy the new course so much more than the old one.  I got a first place turkey!  Yea!  Looks like it may be my last if they stop doing it from now on.



 Turkey Trot even though I have a love hate relationship with you, and you have ruffled my feathers more than a few times, it has still been quite the trot and I am sad to see you go.  Of all the prizes given out at races, this one is always the best.  Where else can you only pay a $7 registration fee and possibly end up coming home with a $15 feast?  I feel like the decision to pluck your feathers for the last time, is for the birds!  You may see me out ruffling a few feathers of my own and calling fowl on the turkey who decided to cook this bird.  What is this world coming to when you can't have a little hometown race once a year that doesn't do any harm?  I think it's time to go talk some turkey with some real turkeys.
~Gobble Gobble~

ASKED and ANSWERED

I used to post a lot of things on parenting and discipline on my blog, but I rarely do anymore.  Mainly because I am no longer in the "war zone" with little ones like I used to be, and my teenagers have been pretty exceptional as far as disciplining.  Why did I say that?  I still have one to go!  When you say things like that, they get a chuckle out of it in heaven and decide to set you straight and send you a little challenge just to keep you humble.  So I take it back.  They have given me my fair share, I just forgot!  =)  And that one that is still at home is quite the negotiator and so I will be using this on him.

But when I read this article, I just thought how ingenious this idea was and how it would be such a help to so many moms out there, so I am posting it in hopes it will help just one mom or grandma.  I saw it at this website HERE.

Let me know what you think about this idea!

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Child Nagging & Negotiating

by Amy McCready

End child nagging & negotiating with just three simple words

child nagging
When it comes to persistence, few things compare to a child nagging and negotiating to try and get what he wants. And few people know that better than a parent who has given that child an answer they don’t want to hear.
From the famed “Are we there yet?” to this morning’s “Can I have ice cream for breakfast?” to this afternoon’s “Can I have ice cream for dinner?” kids are notorious for their one-track minds, and they will ask…and ask…and ask…just in case you’ve changed your mind in the last minute.
Child nagging is a learned behavior that children of any age can pick up. They might continue to use it because once, in a moment of weakness, you caved and let them stay up an extra half hour after they asked for the eighth time.
But like any learned behavior, child nagging can be unlearned. The solution comes from Lynn Lott, co-author of the Positive Discipline series of books, and it works on kids as young as two or three, all the way through their teens.
It only takes three simple words: “Asked and Answered.”

The concept is simple. When seven-year-old Daniel begs to dig a giant hole in the front yard and gets “no” for an answer, chances are he’ll be back in five minutes asking again – this time with a “pleeeeeeaase” just so you know he really, really wants to dig the hole.
Instead of repeating yourself or jumping in to a lecture, avoid child nagging by getting eye to eye and follow the process below:
Step One: Ask, “Have you ever heard of ‘Asked and Answered’?” (He’ll probably say no.)
Step Two: Ask, “Did you ask me a question about digging a hole?” (He’ll say yes.)
Step Three: Ask, “Did I answer it?” (He’ll probably say, “Yes, but, I really ….”)
Step Four: Ask, “Do I look like the kind of mom/dad/teacher who will change her/his mind if you ask me the same thing over and over?” (Chances are Daniel will walk away, maybe with a frustrated grunt, and engage in something else.)
Step Five: If Daniel asks again, simply say, “Asked and Answered.” (No other words are necessary!) Once this technique has been established, these are the only words you should need to say to address nagging questions.
Consistency is key! Once you decide to use “Asked and Answered” with your nagging child, be sure to stick to it. If 14-year-old Emma is particularly determined to keep asking to get her eyebrow pierced, stay strong. Answering her question again – or worse yet, changing your answer – will reinforce to her that her nagging works. Although it’ll take some patience, your child will eventually connect the dots and you’ll see results!
Make “Asked and Answered” a joint effort with your spouse, and consider including any family or friends who may have to deal with child nagging and negotiating from your child. When Daniel and Emma realize that they won’t get a “yes,” even after they’ve asked twelve times, they’ll get the hint and retire this tactic.
Speech and Language Pathologist, Stacy Pulley reports this technique works well for children with communication challenges, particularly those with Autism. She suggests bringing a notebook or a chalk/dry erase board into the mix and writing down a question once they’ve asked it more than once, keeping in mind their reading level. Or, draw a picture. Then, when your child asks again, point to the board or notebook to remind them that they’ve asked, and you’ve answered. Be sure to use as few words as possible and stay consistent in your language to help them understand the connection as they learn to listen to and respect your answers.
Adding this tool to your parenting toolbox is a positive step toward ending the child nagging and negotiating that can wear on even the most resolute of parents. Then, be sure to follow through and stay consistent – and before you know it, 20 questions will be a fun game once again, and no longer a negotiation tactic!
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Isn't that such a great idea?  I love this kind of simple solutions to daily problems of discipline!  I wish I would have learned this when I had little ones.  Can't wait to use it on my one still at home who would make a great attorney because he can negotiate so well, not to mention my future grands (that I WILL have someday!).  Hopefully heaven is listening to that too! =)


 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

♥ Kodsville ♥

We lost another dog this year. Kilo in July and this time it was my in-laws dog Koda.  He seemed like my dog in a lot of ways though.  He's been in Dave's family for 17 years!  17!  He was a member of the family even before McKay was born.  Koda was a unique dog in so many ways.  The best way to describe him is "the perfect dog".  That is what Kevin said in a text to me on the day he passed away.  And he couldn't have been more accurate.  He was good with children and loved everyone.  He actually thought he was a person.  He was so gentle and so loving and loved to be around people all the time.

He would come and stay with us for a few days here and there when Dave's parents were out of town and I always loved his visits!  He would sit at the top of our stairs where he could see the door in case someone came so he could protect us.  He was a little leary of Kilo at first because Kilo had so much energy and Koda was an old man when we got Kilo.  But he got along with him and with the cat and was never any trouble at all.  He did like to wander off occasionally, but what dog doesn't?  He loved coming over here. 

The day after he passed away, Dave's mom called me and told me that I was his favorite person.  I know he loved me, but not sure I would go that far...haha.   She talked about how when I would arrive at their house he would go crazy and just run laps around the big room and then come up and jump on me.  She said he never did that with anyone else and he was always happiest to see me.  One time I arrived and gave him a kiss and right after I did he went charging through the house running so fast around and around so hyper and excited. It was hilarious!  He was so sweet. 

 Dave's brother Kevin got him when he was a puppy.  He then left on a two year mission for our church and Koda was in serious mourning.  He was so happy when Kevin got home.  Then after Kevin got married, he stayed living at Dave's parent's home.  They took care of him and treated him like a king.  But he was happiest when the house had guests.  He just loved people so much.
Koda is off to the left in this photo of Dave's family.  Normally he would be right in the middle of everyone.  He was just such a great dog.  I am going to really miss him!


He had started to go downhill the last few weeks and I went over and told him goodbye on Wednesday.  It broke my heart to see him so bad.  He was so skinny and weak.  He had stopped eating and wasn't drinking very much at all.  It was truly heartbreaking.  I honestly didn't think he had more than a few hours left in him. I told him it was okay to go.  I could tell he was holding on for some reason because he looked so bad.  I told him to go and find Tyson and play catch with him.  Tyson loved Koda so much.  He was the only dog Tyson ever had.
 
Surprisingly he kept holding on.  I could not believe it. Another five days passed and he was still holding on.  I couldn't figure it out and then I asked Dave's dad if Kevin had been able to make it up to see him and when he said no, I knew what he was holding on for.  He was waiting for Kev.  I KNEW that was the reason he was still here.  There is no other explanation because he was beyond being able to hold on physically.  I knew it had to be his will to live and the only thing that would give him that will in his condition was a person.  I knew it was Kev.  He loved Kevin so much and he was his master.  He didn't want to go until he told him goodbye.  I sent Kev a text and told him what I thought was going on and if there was any way to just call and let Koda hear his voice then I thought Koda could go in peace.  Apparently Kevin didn't realize how bad Koda had become and dropped everything and drove up to see him.  I was just praying that Koda would still be alive when he got there.  He was!  He got to see Kevin and tell him goodbye.  I was so happy.  I know that was all he was waiting for.  Kevin did the right thing and took him to the vet.  He passed away a few hours after Kevin arrived. 



Rest In Peace Kods!
I love you...
 
 You were the perfect dog and you will be sorely missed....


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